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Hamilton, Hanifin happy to trade places for Flames, Hurricanes

Defensemen, each top 10 pick in NHL Draft, part of five-player deal

by Mike Zeisberger @Zeisberger / Staff Writer

DALLAS -- Dougie Hamilton had just arrived home from working out when he clicked on the TV to see what was going on at the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center here on Saturday.

Little did the defenseman know he would be the headliner in the biggest trade of the draft.

"We saw the guys on the draft (broadcast) talking about breaking news and there was a trade and it was my name that popped up," said Hamilton, 25. "That's where I found out. 

"It's a weird feeling."


[RELATED: Hamilton, Ferland traded to Hurricanes by Flames for Hanifin, Lindholm | 2018-19 NHL Trade Tracker]


The Calgary Flames traded Hamilton, forward Micheal Ferland and defenseman prospect Adam Fox to the Carolina Hurricanes for defenseman Noah Hanifin and forward Elias Lindholm. 

It is a rare trade that includes two defensemen who were top 10 NHL Draft picks. The Boston Bruins selected Hamilton at No. 9 in the 2011 NHL Draft; the Hurricanes took Hanifin at No. 5 in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Hanifin and Lindholm played for Flames coach Bill Peters with Carolina, where he coached from 2014-18.

Hanifin wasn't quite caught off guard by the trade as much as Hamilton. He was at a movie theater in Boston, his hometown, with his brother and sister watching "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" when he received a call from his agent Pat Brisson on Saturday afternoon.

"I'd had an inkling something might be up the night before," Hanifin said. "Wasn't sure where, though.

"I'm obviously thrilled."

Video: Hurricanes, Flames announce big trade

Hanifin, 21, has plenty of ties to the Flames besides Peters. He and Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau played at Boston College, and he played summer hockey as a kid with Calgary forward Matthew Tkachuk, his teammate with USA Hockey's National Team Development Program.

"It's good to get a little bit of a change and [be] going to a hockey town that expects success," said Hanifin, who quickly received texts from Gaudreau and Tkachuk after the trade was announced. "I'm looking forward to experiencing that Canadian hockey culture."

Carolina general manager Don Waddell and Calgary GM Brad Treliving each said change was needed.

"We've gone nine years missing the [Stanley Cup] Playoffs," Waddell said. "During the offseason, now with a new owner in Tom Dundon, we needed to change the culture a bit."

Waddell said Hamilton will help the Hurricanes too. 
"You're talking about Dougie Hamilton, 17 goals as a defenseman," he said. "I think he's got 90-some points (94) the last two years, one of the premier offensive players as a defenseman in the League. We all know goal-scoring is at a premium in the League so we felt that was a huge addition for us on our blue line."

Video: Waddell on players coming to Carolina from Calgary

Hamilton had 44 points (17 goals, 27 assists) in 82 games this season. He has 220 points (64 goals, 156 assists) in 423 NHL games with the Flames and Bruins. 

"I'm excited to be part of a young group and hopefully I can develop even more with the young guys and help Carolina become a playoff team and all that," he said. "It's going to be fun. I'm looking forward to it."

As for Hanifin, who had NHL career highs in goals (10) and points (32) in 79 games this season, Treliving said, "We think he's just scratching the surface: 21-year-old defenseman, big body, skates."

Hanifin has 83 points (18 goals, 65 assists) in 239 NHL games.

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